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Organic material exposed within a small swale fill in Pit 6 of the Wedron Silica Sand Co. near Wedron in LaSalle County, Illinois, includes well-preserved pollen, plant macrofossils, and insect remains. This material occurs in slackwater sediment in the lower part of the Peddicord Formation, which was deposited as existing valleys were dammed by fluvial aggradation during the initial late Wisconsinan advance of Laurentide ice into the Wedron area. Wood from the organic horizon has a radiocarbon age of 21,460 ± 470 yr B.P. (ISGS-1486). The pollen spectrum is dominated by Picea, Pinus, and Cyperaceae. Plant macrofossils comprise a mix of boreal-forest taxa, including Picea, Larix laricina, and the moss Campylium stellatum; subarctic species including Betula glandulosa, Empetrum nigrum, and Selaginella selaginoides; along with the predominantly arctic Vaccinium uliginosum var. alpinum, Dryas integrifolia, and Rhododendron lapponicum. The insect fauna contains the western montane ground beetle Opisthius richardsoni; several arctic-subarctic ground beetles including Diacheila polita, Helophorus sibiricus, and Pterostichus (Cryobius) caribou; and a diverse assemblage of insects that today inhabit the boreal forest. We interpret the biotic record to record a phase in the transition from closed boreal forest to open tundra as climatic conditions deteriorated in advance of continental glaciation.
An extensive suite of isotopic and geochemical tracers in groundwater has been used to provide hydrologic assessments of the hierarchy of flow systems in aquifers underlying the central Great Plains (southeastern Colorado and western Kansas) of the United States and to determine the late Pleistocene and Holocene paleotemperature and paleorecharge record. Hydrogeologic and geochemical tracer data permit classification of the samples into late Holocene, late Pleistocene–early Holocene, and much older Pleistocene groups. Paleorecharge rates calculated from the Cl concentration in the samples show that recharge rates were at least twice the late Holocene rate during late Pleistocene–early Holocene time, which is consistent with their relative depletion in 16O and D. Noble gas (Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe) temperature calculations confirm that these older samples represent a recharge environment approximately 5°C cooler than late Holocene values. These results are consistent with the global climate models that show a trend toward a warmer, more arid climate during the Holocene.
The most extremely osmotolerant microbial isolates are fungi from high-sugar environments that tolerate the lowest water activity (0.61) for growth yet reported. Studies of osmotolerant bacteria have focused on halotolerance rather than sucretolerance (ability to grow in high sugar concentrations). A collection of salinotolerant (≥10% NaCl or ≥50% MgSO4) bacterial isolates from the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma and Hot Lake in Washington were screened for sucretolerance in medium supplemented with ≥50% fructose, glucose or sucrose. Tolerances significantly differed between solutes, even though water activities for saline media (0.92 and 0.85 for 10 and 20% NaCl Salt Plains media, respectively) were comparable or lower than water activities for high-sugar media (0.93 and 0.90 for 50 and 70% sucrose artificial nectar media, respectively). These specific solute effects were differentially expressed among individual isolates. Extrapolating the results of earlier food science studies with yeasts at high sugar concentrations to bacteria in salty environments with low water activity should be done with caution. Furthermore, the discussion of habitable Special Regions on Mars and the icy worlds should reflect an understanding of specific solute effects.
The effects of fish oil (FO) supplementation on glycaemic control are unclear, and positive effects may occur only when the phospholipid content of tissue membranes exceeds 14 % as n-3 PUFA. Subjects (n 36, thirty-three completed) were paired based on metabolic parameters and allocated into a parallel double-blind randomised trial with one of each pair offered daily either 6 g of FO (3·9 g n-3 PUFA) or 6 g of maize oil (MO) for 9 months. Hyperinsulinaemic–euglycaemic–euaminoacidaemic (HIEGEAA) clamps (with [6,6 2H2 glucose]) were performed at the start and end of the intervention. Endogenous glucose production (EGP) and whole-body protein turnover (WBPT) were each measured after an overnight fast. The primary outcome involved the effect of oil type on insulin sensitivity related to glycaemic control. The secondary outcome involved the effect of oil type on WBPT. Subjects on FO (n 16) had increased erythrocyte n-3 PUFA concentrations >14 %, whereas subjects on MO (n 17) had unaltered n-3 PUFA concentrations at 9 %. Type of oil had no effect on fasting EGP, insulin sensitivity or total glucose disposal during the HIEGEAA clamp. In contrast, under insulin-stimulated conditions, total protein disposal (P=0·007) and endogenous WBPT (P=0·001) were both increased with FO. In an associated pilot study (n 4, three completed), although n-3 PUFA in erythrocyte membranes increased to >14 % with the FO supplement, the enrichment in muscle membranes remained lower (8 %; P<0·001). In conclusion, long-term supplementation with FO, at amounts near the safety limits set by regulatory authorities in Europe and the USA, did not alter glycaemic control but did have an impact on WBPT.
The purpose of this study was to explore further the hypothesis that changes in cognitive function may occur in the mild stages of multiple sclerosis (MS) by determining whether ventricular enlargement was related to cognitive function. Ten measures of ventricular size were made in a sample of 123 MS patients with mild disability and 60 well-matched healthy controls. In addition, sixteen tests of cognitive function and the Beck Depression Inventory were administered. For the MS group, there were significant correlations between the ventricular measures and cognitive performance but not for the normal controls. Scores on the Beck Depression Inventory were not correlated with either cognitive performance or ventricular enlargement. These findings suggest that for the MS group cognitive impairment was related to the disease process but not to the level of depression.
Our objective was to determine whether a Symbol Search paradigm developed for functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) is a reliable and valid measure of cognitive processing speed (CPS) in healthy older adults. As all older adults are expected to experience cognitive declines due to aging, and CPS is one of the domains most affected by age, establishing a reliable and valid measure of CPS that can be administered inside an MR scanner may prove invaluable in future clinical and research settings. We evaluated the reliability and construct validity of a newly developed FMRI Symbol Search task by comparing participants’ performance in and outside of the scanner and to the widely used and standardized Symbol Search subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). A brief battery of neuropsychological measures was also administered to assess the convergent and discriminant validity of the FMRI Symbol Search task. The FMRI Symbol Search task demonstrated high test–retest reliability when compared to performance on the same task administered out of the scanner (r=.791; p<.001). The criterion validity of the new task was supported, as it exhibited a strong positive correlation with the WAIS Symbol Search (r=.717; p<.001). Predicted convergent and discriminant validity patterns of the FMRI Symbol Search task were also observed. The FMRI Symbol Search task is a reliable and valid measure of CPS in healthy older adults and exhibits expected sensitivity to the effects of age on CPS performance. (JINS, 2015, 22, 1–8)
Avian diet selection is hypothesized to be sensitive to seasonal changes in breeding status, but few tests exist for frugivorous tropical birds. Frugivorous birds provide an interesting test case because fruits are relatively deficient in minerals critical for reproduction. Here, we quantify annual patterns of fruit availability and diet for two frugivorous hornbill (Bucerotidae) species over a 5.5-y period to test for patterns of diet selection. Data from the lowland tropical rain forest of the Dja Reserve, Cameroon, are used to generate two nutritional indices. One index estimates the nutrient concentration of the diet chosen by Ceratogymna atrata and Bycanistes albotibialis on a monthly basis using 3165 feeding observations combined with fruit pulp sample data. The second index is an estimate of nutrient concentration of a non-selective or neutral diet across the study area based on tree fruiting phenology, vegetation survey and fruit-pulp sample data. Fifty-nine fruit pulp samples representing 40 species were analysed for 16 nutrient categories to contribute to both indices. Pulp samples accounted for approximately 75% of the observed diets. The results support expected patterns of nutrient selection. The two hornbill species selected a diet rich in calcium during the early breeding season (significantly so for B. albotibialis in July and August). Through the brooding and fledging periods, they switched from a calcium-rich diet to one rich in iron and caloric content as well as supplemental protein in the form of invertebrates. Calcium, the calcium to phosphorus ratio and fat concentration were the strongest predictors of breeding success (significant for calcium and Ca:P for B. albotibialis in June). We conclude that hornbills actively select fruit based on nutritional concentration and mineral concentration and that the indices developed here are useful for assessing frugivore diet over time.
Seismic survey activities in the western Beaufort Sea, involving ships and sound production, were monitored in autumn 1982 for their possible effects on migrating Bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus. The study, begun in 1981 by die Minerals Management Service of the US Department of the Interior, covered offshore waters between the Alaskan coast and 72°N. Distribution, behaviour and numbers of whales were recorded, and procedures were established for monitoring and controlling seismic activities in their presence.